We often see discussions as to whether games are art. Some treat them as another muse that is already long enough that it is high time to find its place in the pantheon. Others advocate the theory that games are a mass product, a product of marketing, and as such, they are merely a filler of time. Maybe it is. But I'm a proponent of yet another theory and I ask simple questions. Is a piece of music a form of art? Is drawing / painting a form of art? Can narration/story be an art? And what do games consist of? Among other things are music, graphics and narration. And code. So since its components can be art, why does not she have to be her? Is he or she not?
Because I'm asking for no reason, because today's review of Bastion is a gem, as I say, a pearl that is in the console digital distribution. This is a two-dimensional hack n 'slash, in which the action is observed in an isometric view, and its hero is a Kid. The Kid.
There was a catastrophe in the Kid's world. At first, we have no idea what happened, the hero just wakes up in one of the sky locations - without weapons and without experience. The kid finds a great hammer, bow, and shield and moves forward to know his destiny. So it goes to the title Bastion, a place that is something like the hallway, the hub, to other sky places. The place where the kid meets the mysterious old man.
The mechanics of the game is quite standard and resembles that of other productions of this genre. The kid finds various artefacts in the course of the journey, which are then used to improve the weapons he possesses. And those are quite a lot. The paragraph above mentioned only the basic, but after a few dozen minutes the arsenal is enriched with a machete, something like a crossbow or musket. Each weapon has three levels of upgrades, and buying one of them will unlock two different active bugs. For example, to inflict more damage or increase the chance of causing a critical wound. By making a visit to the armoury, we can freely exchange all unlocked features, so there is no longer a long time to choose. Something does not fit, we change it. Convenient and functional. In addition, the character has a special attack, the exit of which consumes a bottle of tonic. For example, we can call upon an ally to fight, throw a grenade, or leave behind a face. Maybe all at first glance looks modest, but on the screen, there is often such a piston that there would be no time to think about tactics anyway.
Similarly, the level of experience of the character increases. Each subsequent level unlocks a slot to literally insert an enhancer into it. When something on our way stops responding, we exchange something else. Functionality above all.
Over time we find a temple where we can pray. The gods, however, are not very supportive, because our prayers respond in a rather perverse way. If we ask to increase the experience points of the dead creatures, the gods make them more resistant to blows. The business must turn.
The game admires almost in every aspect. What our perception sees in the first place is a cute two-dimensional visual frame reminiscent of a bit of Japanese RPG, though not entirely, because of the stubborn look here is also the style known from Magicka. Although perhaps best just to admit that Bastion is so original that it is difficult to say unequivocally from where artists working with him drew inspiration.
Well, nice two-dimensional games on the market we have enough, so what distinguishes this position? First of all, the idea of virtual world presentation. Now, strolling through the different locations, we are constantly witnessing their build in real time, which I admit, looks insane. I go and see how the individual elements just before the legs of the character jump into their place. This makes the screen not only almost never static, but it also works well in hiding the various founders, because until we reach the edge of the levitating world, we do not know what the plan was prepared by the authors. It's a bit like the modern version of Knight Lore.
And there are really great composing and catchy songs, performed among others. Only acoustic guitar. Sometimes it is calm, almost lyrical, sometimes a bit faster, and the music perfectly matches the action on the screen. It's one of the best audio settings I've ever heard this year, and certainly one of the best I've ever seen in an independent game.
And this is not the end of the delight. It was true that the storyline could have been a bit deeper and more elaborate, but I must admit that, with what Bastion offers in this matter, I see it for the first time. In the game, there is a narrator who not only takes over the role of other characters during short conversations but literally throughout the game explains what is happening on the screen. And in a way that personally reminds me of Chandler's crimes. Often crooked, but at the same time extremely colourful and funny, describing reality so that we are aware that everyone is guided only by their own interests. The very process of preparing such a narrative puts the game in the circle of experimenters, whose task is to show the competition that some things can be done differently. You can only imagine how many ambitious games would look like, in which instead of the information coming out of the mouth of the main character, we would always be interesting thoughts on different topics or comments about what is happening on the screen. Sam Fisher or Garret would be perfect in this role.
Bastion is a skill with RPG elements, which is managed by an average mechanic, but it is undoubtedly one of the titles with their own soul. It is charming and colourful, giving a great fun look. The Supergiant Games team has conjured up an extraordinary game, yet another step in the evolution of electronic entertainment into a rich narrative, not limited to reading the tracks found along the way and dry conversations with the characters encountered. This new quality has made the Kid, the pixel of dozens of pixels on the TV screen, definitely more than a bunch of anonymous heroes of hundreds of games. The kid is able to change his world. I hope ours in some parts also.